Writing an Effective Campaign Brief

Providing an effective campaign brief ensures our colleagues and stakeholders are starting off on the same page - no pun intended! Charlotte Farrant, from Essex County Council’s Campaigns team has prepared some tips on how to write an effective campaign brief.

1. Take your time 

Writing an effective campaign brief takes time - but it’s worth it in the long run. By taking this time to build your brief at the start, you’re building a solid foundation that can be referred to at each stage of the campaign to ensure that we’re moving in the right direction. 

In our recent L&D session ‘How to Write an Effective Brief,’ our hosts from Ron Finlay Communications also emphasised taking your time and taking a step back if the brief is not quite clear. Talking to your colleagues and stakeholders helps to pinpoint exactly what’s missing.  

2. Set SMART objectives 

Before starting your campaign, create context by outlining SMART objectives. Consider - is there a problem you’re trying to solve or what do you need to achieve?   

How to set SMART objectives  

Building your SMART objectives means you will know what success looks like from the start – acting as a guiding compass in the development stage. As per the acronym, your objectives should be: 

  • Specific – say precisely what you want to achieve 
  • Measurable – to quantify your results 
  • Achievable - you should understand what you’re able to do 
  • Realistic - be practical when it comes to what time/resources you have 
  • Time-bound - set a time or deadline to achieve your target 

 Read more on setting and meeting objectives that deliver on the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s website. 

3. Understand your audience 

Writing an effective campaign brief involves defining your audience. Visualising your audience by compiling demographics and behavioural insights is a core part of the campaign brief. 

For example, when planning a campaign, Mosaic is my go-to for looking at your target audience and which media they’re likely to use. It’s also useful to look at lifestyle factors to get an understanding of the audience as individuals. 

4. Host a kick-off meeting 

Hosting a face-to-face kick-off call is another chance to capture information for your project. During the chat, you can discuss the brief, any issues or concerns. Time after time, something that has been mentioned during a meeting has developed into a fundamental part of the campaign!  

Again, during our L&D session, we spoke about how important a written brief is too. Conversations are a great way to inspire a piece of work, then use a written brief to sum up the conversation.  

Resources to help you write an effective brief  

Across the Communications and Marketing network, there’s help if you need it. If you’re an Essex County Council colleague, you can visit the ‘Write a Creative Brief’ toolkit page 

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